NFU to USDA: Stand Strong on COOL

Reposted from the National Farmers Union’s website

May 2, 2013

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
Dan McEvily, 202-314-3104

WASHINGTON (May 2, 2013) – With the May 23 deadline looming for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue a final rule on COOL, in order to comply with a WTO ruling, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

“Opponents to COOL, principally packer-producer organizations, are suggesting that Canada will pursue retaliatory responses to the strengthened COOL language. It is important to understand that these organizations have never supported COOL because they can make more money by blending foreign products into American meat and pass it off as U.S.-produced.

“National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Scott George said in the organization’s COOL comments, ‘The Canadian government has already confirmed that they will consider all options including extensive retaliatory measures.’ According to Article XXII of the WTO’s dispute settlement rules, the Canadians can consider all they want, but they can’t act unless WTO allows it.

“A letter of support for the COOL rule was signed by a broad range of 229 farmer, rancher, rural, and consumer organization organizations. A 2008 Consumer Reports poll found that 95 percent of consumers believe that processed or packaged food should be labeled by its country of origin and that this information should always be available at point of purchase. It is clear that the public supports COOL.

“We look forward to USDA’s final ruling and urge them to stand strong and keep COOL. Furthermore, we impress upon Congress to leave COOL out of the impending farm bill discussions.”

Click here to view letter.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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